Canberra 'Duty of Care' rebels have court cases dismissed or given $20 fines
By Extinction Rebellion Australia, on 24 August 2021
Four of those involved in the 'Duty of Care' actions in Canberra had all charges 'proved but dismissed' on 24th August. A further five court cases were heard on 25th August, resulting in $20 fines.
Lesley Moseby, Daisy Nutty and Eric 'Sergeio' Herbert (R to L above) had their day in court before Magistrate James Stewart.
All rebels represented themselves, and made the case that their actions were motivated by the urgent need to face up to the climate emergency, and pleaded guilty to damaging Commonwealth property.
All charges were 'proved but dismissed' as they accepted responsibility for their actions and entered a guilty plea. The magistrate took into account that a number of the accused had spent time in prison on remand, or overnight in the watch house.
Andrew George, Mark Conroy, Ross Brown, John Wurcker and Violet Coco (who incinerated a pram in front of Parliament House) appeared in court before Magistrate Morrison on the following day.
Violet had been on remand for two weeks, since her arrest on 10 August. Her matters have been adjourned until Thursday 2nd September awaiting consent from the crown prosecutor for trespass charge relating to the burning pram at parliament house.
Andrew George and John Wurcker both received two $20 fines for damaging commonwealth property at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and at the Lodge. Mark Conroy recieved a $20 fine and a conviction recorded for damaging property at the Lodge and obstructing traffic. Ross Brown recieved two $20 fines for damaging commonwealth property at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and at Parliament House.
The magistrate took into account that a number of the accused had spent time in Alexander Maconochie Centre prison on remand, or overnight in the watch house, when sentencing.
Dr Nick Abel (pictured above) a retired CSIRO environmental scientist, also took part in the 'Duty of Care' actions in Canberra, splashing paint at the Department of Water, Agriculture and the Environment. Dr Abel pleaded 'not guilty' and will take his case to a jury trial at the Supreme Court on 25 November. Nick spent a week on remand after his arrest.
Magistrate Stewart said to Sergeio Herbert: "Your actions arise out of peaceful demonstration to further local, commonwealth and world attention to climate change and the inevitable effects it will have on the world community."
Sergeio Herbert (shown above in a photo from the action) says: "After 11 days in prison it has become clear that our government has no interest in community safety and has no interest in fulfilling their duty of care to us young people. Today in the ACT court of law it has been reaffirmed that property damage and public disruption in this rebellion are required to enforce the law and protect the occupants of this land. This outcome has provided me with the unimpeachable understanding that the ACT Judiciary are willing to stand behind us as we enact our lawful indispensable duty to bring down this government through. That is our Duty Of Care."
There were 10 arrests in all, at the end of a week of actions. Protests highlighted the lack of a 'Duty of Care' by our government for future generations, threatened with the collapse of civilization arising from the climate emergency.